Too lazy to play your own damn video game? Lucky for you there's horror director-for-hire Uwe Boll, who's making a career out of adapting successful Atari and Sega games into tedious popcorn fare that's the ultimate in cinematic passivity. Boll plays the game, you sit back and watch. Boll's follow-up to 2003's dismal HOUSE OF THE DEAD, an adaptation of Atari's vaguely Lovecraftian Alone in the Dark series, is even more incoherent than its predecessor. After spending six weeks in the Amazon, paranormal investigator Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) returns home with a centuries-old artifact he believes may have originated with the Abkani, a highly advanced Native American tribe that pulled an Anasazi-style disappearing act and vanished from the face of the earth. As Edward tells his cabbie, he's also returning home with the same psychological baggage he's been carrying since his childhood, of which he has no recollection other than the vague sense that something bad happened to him at Our Lady of the Perpetual Light orphanage. And something very bad did: Edward and 19 other orphans were the subject of a bizarre experiment conducted by the Abkani-obsessed Professor Hudgens (Mathew Walker). Edward's tormented search for answers led him to join the top-secret paranormal research agency Bureau 713 alongside his rival, Commander Burke (Stephen Dorff), but whenever Edward got close to anything Abkani-related, the agency suddenly stepped in. Now working on his own, Edward brings his newly acquired artifact to his ex-girlfriend, Aline Cedrac (Tara Reid), a brilliant anthropologist in hip-huggers (she's sexy) and glasses (she's smart) who works for none other than Dr. Hudgens. As Aline sets about decoding the relic's weird inscriptions, Dr. Hudgens dredges the ocean floor for the gold casket he hopes holds the final key to the Abkani's infernal power. When the casket is foolishly opened, however, it unleashes a host of dripping, drooling monsters and turns all 19 of Edward's fellow orphans into bloodthirsty zombies. The apocalypse is on. If the whole exhausting premise sounds like the convoluted back story for a game you have no interest in playing, it is: One half of the scriptwriting team pens video-game "screenplays" for a living. The other half wrote MVP2: MOST VERTICAL PRIMATE. Shamelessly pilfering from everything from ALIEN, THE MATRIX and THE X-FILES to THEY and even THE TINGLER, Boll clearly hopes to distract audiences with irrelevant detail. But once the poorly staged mayhem erupts, there's no disguising the fact that it's all been a pointless buildup to 40 minutes of running, shooting and screaming, and you've wasted whatever time and attention you devoted to following any of its minutiae.
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- Released: 2005
- Rating: R
- Review: Too lazy to play your own damn video game? Lucky for you there's horror director-for-hire Uwe Boll, who's making a career out of adapting successful Atari and Sega games into tedious popcorn fare that's the ultimate in cinematic passivity. Boll plays the g… (more)